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What are the different types of network delay?

Network delay refers to the amount of time it takes for a packet to go from point A to point B. If Point A is the source and point B is the destination, then the delay is called an end to end delay.

The types of delays encountered in a packet-switched network are:

  • Propagation delay

  • Transmission delay

  • Queuing delay

  • Processing delay

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Propogation delay

Propagation delay is the time that it takes for a bit to reach from one end of a link to the other. The delay depends on the distance (DD) between the sender and the receiver, and the propagation speed (SS) of the wave signal. It is calculated as:


Transmission delay

Transmission delay refers to the time it takes to transmit a data packet onto the outgoing link. The delay is determined by the size of the packet and the capacity of the outgoing link. If a packet consists of LL bits and the link has a capacity of BB bits per second, then the transmission delay is equal to:


Queuing delay

Queuing delay refers to the time that a packet waits to be processed in the buffer of a switch. The delay is dependent on the arrival rate of the incoming packets, the transmission capacity of the outgoing link, and the nature of the network’s​ traffic.

Processing delay

Processing delay is the time taken by a switch to process the packet header. The delay depends on the processing speed of the switch.



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